When picking out suits for the first time, one should typically purchase a suit that is versatile and can be worn with many colors. A black, grey or navy suit is best. The suit jacket ought to have either one button or two, but not three. The bottom button on the suit is not to be done up (unless there is only one button). It is of utmost importance that the suit fits. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find a suit that fits you with no tailoring needed. I have found this not to be the case for most men though, so getting the suit tailored is usually a must. If you want a more unique look, button up your shirt all the way and don’t wear a tie. Leave the top button undone for a more casual look. Pocket squares should never completely match the tie.
How to tell if a suit fits:
- Your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your suit jacket
- The top button of your suit should not fall below the bellybutton
- Shoulder pads end at the shoulders
- When the top button is done up, your flat hand ought to be able to slide into your suit under the lapels. When you make a fist, the suit should pull at the button
- The sleeves should end at the point where the thumb meets the wrist
- About a quarter of an inch of your cuff should be seen coming out of the sleeves of the jacket
- Your pants should end at the middle of the back of your shoe
Do not purchase overly patterned ties, they are too distracting. Solid color or monochromatic diagonally striped ties are best. Have at least one black tie. Do not purchase ties with little logos (such as the Lacoste logo), they’re often mistaken for stains (I’ve had personal experience with this). Darker, calmer colors (such as red, burgundy, navy, blue etc.) are well suited for business, whilst bright colors (such as lavender, pink, yellow, orange etc.) are best for casual summer wear. Ties should be tied using a Windsor or Half Windsor knot. The end of the tie should reach the middle of the belt buckle. Bow ties are charming and good for expressing yourself, though they are not very serious.
Ties like these are simple and beautiful.
A cotton shirt is an essential part of any man’s wardrobe. One should purchase white cotton shirts first, since they are extremely versatile, and then proceed to purchase other colors according to preference. When wearing a shirt and tie, keep in mind that the tie must always be darker than the shirt. Other, more casual shirts one ought to have are Oxford shirts, polo shirts and plain white, black or gray tee shirts. Graphic tees are typically only acceptable in the most casual of situations. Once again, fit is everything.
Dark jeans are good for casual wear, straight leg or skinny. Slim-fit Chinos are good as well, straight leg or skinny, but make sure that they are not pleated. Matching the socks with the pants allows the eye to flow seamlessly down to the shoes.
These are some nice Chinos.
Black Oxford shoes are a must. Shined for business wear, not shined for casual wear. The belt should match the shoes. A more casual shoe is a pair of brown Oxfords (though still formal) or suede Oxfords. Having a pair or two of sneakers is good, one light and one dark. Casual boots are also a great thing to have. Casual shoes needn’t necessarily be a particular style, they just need to look good. The reason I mention Oxford shoes so much is because they’re versatile and look great with nearly everything. Shoes should always have a rounded toe, never triangle or square. Running shoes should only be worn for exercising.
Long Sleeved Shirts and Jackets
You can never go wrong with an argyle jumper, personally I love them. Jumpers with a pattern going across the chest are great, as are solid color ones. Fit is everything, but sometimes if you’re small like me, jumpers look good when they’re too big as well. If you wear a dress shirt underneath a jumper or other long sleeved shirt, be sure to tuck in your collar. Long sleeved shirts with no buttons or just buttons at the top are best when they are a solid color. I am also a great fan of cardigans. These should fit as well as possible, but they are meant to be loose. Trench coats are good for rainy weather, but make sure they aren’t overly long. Peacoats are great, but a bit overused. I still love them nonetheless, they are warm, heavy and comfortable. Blazers are more casual and good for chilly weather.
Monochromatic (brown or black) messenger bags made of leather or other such material look good with nearly everything. Medium sized watches with a simple leather strap are most versatile, though it all depends on your style. As for jewelry, the simpler the better. Scarves are great with peacoats. You could substitute an ascot for a tie in order to have a more unique look. Cuff links can show off your own personal flair.
Don't be afraid to shop everywhere, some of my favorite clothing has come from thrift stores. You'll be surprised with what you can find if you look hard enough. Until next time, please enjoy Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57: